Vard Shipyard has delivered an icebreaker – an LNG-powered expedition cruise ship – to French shipowner Ponant. According to the shipyard, the vessel, Le Commandant Charcot, is the first of its kind in the world.
Le Commandant Charcot, named after the great French explorer, sailor and polar researcher Jean-Baptiste Carcot, is equipped with the latest technology to minimise environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory that will be used for operational and oceanographic research missions.
The unique and state-of-the-art icebreaker – an LNG-powered expedition cruise ship – was developed by designers from the Vard shipyard in collaboration with shipowner Ponant, as well as designers Stirling Design International and Aker Arctic. The ship’s hull was built at Vard Tulcea in Romania.
The ship meets the highest environmental standards. It is the first LNG-powered cruise icebreaker. With a gross tonnage of 30,000, a length of about 150m and a width of 28m, it will reach a maximum speed of 15 knots, accommodate 270 passengers in 135 cabins, as well as 187 crew members. Passengers will sail it to the North Pole, the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island, among others. A hangar for two helicopters will also be provided on board.
Ponant, a subsidiary of the Artemis Group based in Marseille, France, was founded in 1988.
Vard Holdings Limited – Vard shipyard, is one of the world leaders in the design and construction of specialised vessels. It has ten shipyards at its disposal: five in Norway – Vard Aukra, Vard Brattvaag, Vard Brevik, Vard Langsten, Vard Soviknes; two in Romania – Vard Braila, Vard Tulcea; two in Brazil – Vard Niterói, Vard Promar and one in Vietnam – Vard Vung Tau. Based in Norway, it has approximately 11,000 employees.
Vard’s majority shareholder is state-owned Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups based in Italy, which has already built more than 7,000 ships.